Speaking at the 27th annual symposium of SCAN (the Sports and Cardiovascular Nutritionists’ group of the American Dietetic Association), Dr. John Ivy, PhD of the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education at the University of Texas-Austin shared these pointers:
• During extended exercise, your muscles need water, carbohydrate, electrolytes, and perhaps protein. While the need for protein during exercise to enhance performance can be debated, consuming protein will not be detrimental. For example, adding protein to a sports drink can lower post-exercisce markers of muscle damage, reduce post-exercise muscle soreness, and enhance recovery.
• Consuming protein before and after you lift weights optimizes gains in muscle mass and power.
• If you are serious about building muscle, you should eat meals and snacks consistently throughout the day, to provide a steady infusion of carbohydrates (to fuel) and protein (to build and repair) muscles.
• Eating breakfast is important to take the body out of a catabolic (breaking-down) state. Don't skip this morning meal!
• Consuming a small (100-calorie) high protein snack (such as some turkey or cottage cheese) before going to bed can enhance the availability of amino acids throughout the night. Anabolic (muscle building) activity is highest at night, so this snack can help optimize muscular development.
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